LEF Launches

Leaders Education Foundation Launches

Founded through the leadership and generosity of Leaders Credit Union, the Leaders Education Foundation has launched as a non-profit 501c3 organization that allows community-minded individuals, organizations, and other businesses to unite together to bring educational resources and opportunities to students of all ages in West Tenn.

“The Leaders Education Foundation has been a labor of love,” said Leigh Anne Bentley, Foundation President. “To see this last year’s effort to structure and develop an organization for the sole purpose of giving forward to the community and enhancing the lives of others already gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment.”

In support of the Foundation, Leaders Credit Union has donated an additional $10,000 to launch the Leaders Education Foundation Scholarship program (formerly under the Leaders Credit Union umbrella).

Six scholarships totaling $10,000 will be awarded to high school seniors who portray leadership in their school and community. Scholarship applicants must be graduating high school seniors in West Tenn. and the high school senior and/or a parent and/or a grandparent must be a member of the Leaders Education Foundation or a member in good standing of Leaders Credit Union. Applicants may be applying to a traditional four-year university, community college, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, or other technical or vocational programs or schools. The scholarship money received may be used at the applicant’s discretion to help cover costs associated with education including tuition, books, fees, and various living costs. Applications deadline was April 15, 2020, and winners will be announced in the coming weeks.

“The scholarship program provides indispensable opportunities to students, affecting the trajectory of their entire future,” Eddie Hays, Leaders Education Foundation Chairman said. “We are honored to be a small part of these students’ academic journeys toward success.”

In addition to the scholarship program, Leaders Education Foundation will provide grant and scholarship opportunities as well as resources to support lifelong education and workforce development within our community.

Leaders Education Foundation memberships are available to individuals and sponsorship opportunities are offered to corporate partners. Charter Memberships or Charter Sponsorships, as applicable, are available until June 30, 2020, in which the organization or individual will have their commitment commemorated and listed in the records of the Foundation and be recognized at the first annual Foundation members meeting in April. An Individual Charter Membership is $510.00 ($10 membership fee + $500 donation). Corporate Charter Sponsorships range from Sustaining Corporate Charter Sponsor for a gift of $25,000 or more ($5,000 per year for five years) to a Partner Corporate Charter Sponsor for a gift of $2,500 ($500 per year for five years.)

“I encourage everyone to be a part of this organization. By joining or sponsoring the Foundation, it allows community-minded citizens and businesses to partner and support our mission to ‘Make lives better, together,’” Bentley noted.

The Leaders Education Foundation has a volunteer Board of Directors consisting of Eddie Hays, Chairman; Ron Hill, Vice Chairman & Secretary; Karen Taylor, Treasurer; Stephanie Riley, Board Member; and Mary Lou Adams, Board Member. Additional officers elected include Leigh Anne Bentley to serve as President and Leigh O’Neill as Vice President of the Foundation.

Board of Directors

Eddie Hays


Ron Hill

Vice Chairman and Secretary

Karen Taylor


Stephanie Riley

Board Member

Mary Lou Adams

Board Member


Leigh Anne Bentley


Leigh O’Neill

Vice President